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Daniel McNeil Collection

78rpm shellac discs donated from Daniel McNeil to the Archive of Contemporary Music and digitized by George Blood, LP for the Internet Archive.



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78rpm shellac discs donated from Daniel McNeil to the Archive of Contemporary Music and digitized by George Blood, LP for the Internet Archive.

The collection of 22,359 ten and twelve inch seventy-eights is one of the first that ARC worked with from beginning to end, and what a pleasure. Rare for us the discs were all carefully arranged on shelves by label, and then by manufacturer number. Even better, the weeks we spent packing up meant cake and coffee everyday at 4. Here’s Mr. McNeil’s take on the experience:

“I grew up in New Hyde Park on Long Island. When I was about 10 years old I found a pile old 78 RPM records in my grandparents’ attic. I was fascinated listening to them. When you put a human voice to it, boring history suddenly became real and interesting. I went to college, became a research chemist and coauthored a number of scientific papers and several patents. All the while picking up additional 78s when I found them. The more I found the more fascinated I was. I started going to tag sales and flea markets and would often increase my collection by 1000s.

“I was fascinated by Bert Williams, a very popular black entertainer of the late 1800s and early 1900s, the songs of World War I, songs of the roaring 20s and many others. Listening to these old records allowed you to gain a feeling for the era in which they were made.

“Eventually my collection contained over 22,000 records totaling I don’t know how many tons. It occupied a sizable portion of my home. My wife, Ulla, suggests that if I ever want to collect anything else in the future I should consider stamps. We are in our 70s and are starting to think of moving to a smaller retirement home. I had to consider what to do with my cherished, highly valued record collection. I could find people anxious to cherry pick through it but nobody considered the complete collection. I found it very upsetting till I contacted the ARChive Of Contemporary Music and got a positive response. Now I feel overjoyed that, feeling the value and importance of my collection of 60 years, it now has a new home with the ARChive Of Contemporary Music (and the Internet Archive) where it can be appreciated.”

Related item at https://archive.org/details/mcneildonation


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Created on
July 5
2017
jakej
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